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The huge dose of nostalgia that Milan Ring’s latest release “Are Your Friends Alright?” generates is only partially intentional. The Sydney-based artist and producer says she was inspired by parties she attended throughout her teens and twenties, where gatecrashers or uninvited people brought negative energy. “I was playing with the idea of âânot letting that make your night out with your friends a bad vibe.”
It’s an idea that most people could relate to. But, with the very notion of socializing and partying with friends seeming strange and distant right now, the song hits an even deeper chord. It’s about focusing on the right things and channeling positive energy. Produced in collaboration with Sydney-based artist Blessed, ‘Are Your Friends Alright?’ is a loaded track, filled with sultry vocals, moving harmonies and a funky bassline.
This is a prime example of why Ring was chosen as one of the visionary artists to collaborate with Miller Design Lab, the home of creativity and self-expression built by leading Australian minds in design. , art, technology and fashion. The platform is a celebration of our nightlife and its impact on culture to provide you and your home with exceptional moments. To that end, we spoke with the Sydney-based talent to talk about life as an artist – a flexible process of seeking inspiration in their city and collaborating with some of the best in the business.
Artist is a broad term, but it’s an important distinction when referring to someone like Milan Ring – it can’t be put into just one category. Throughout her teenage years, she spent time jamming on guitar and experimenting on an analog drum machine, before earning a degree in sound engineering and technical production. She began performing professionally in her twenties, first as a guitarist in bands, then gradually as a backing vocalist. Now, not only does she write and compose all of her music, but she also produces and mixes it – and masters some of it as well. And most of that magic happens in her studio, which she built in a warehouse in Marrickville with her best friend two years ago.
This loaded skill set gives Ring a lot of flexibility in his creative process. âThere are times when I just want to create, do something new and improvise. And then there are times when I just want to fix things and do all the technical stuff. I listen to myself. Sometimes I walk in. with the intention of making a new song. I start and I’m like ‘I don’t really feel it’, so I’m going to release a song to finish the mix.
While Ring admits that she works mostly on her own, she also places great importance on teaming up with other artists and producers, including Blessed and American band The Social Experiment (who in turn have worked with Chance the Rapper. ). âIt’s about finding the right collaborators, but you don’t know until you try. Every collaboration, even if it doesn’t end with a song that came out, there’s something to take away from that and something to learn.”
And, for Ring, there’s a direct relationship between collaboration and personalization. “The way I would interpret personalization would be to take inspiration from something and make it your own. Someone like BLESSED could send me beats and then I’ll use this, change that sound, remove that, move that. “it here and then save it. Therefore, I personalized, completed and transformed its initial concept into something else.”
The idea of ââpersonalization is also evident in the assembly of Ring’s different sources of inspiration. Her music is known for its sampling of various genres – it specifically mentions Latin, Afro-Cuban and American style jazz and soul music, which she spent a lot of time listening to while growing up. But when it comes to lyrical content, Ring looks to his community in Sydney’s inner west. âI am definitely inspired by the region I grew up in and by the different people I know or have met and their stories. story then went on a tangent. “
Ring specifically mentions a number of places around her studio in Marrickville that she frequents for inspiration, including cafes like Matinee, West Juliett and Two Chaps, the Craft Brewery group and a handful of pubs like The Henson, The Vic on the Park and The HÃ´tel de Marrickville. And even just go sit in Enmore Park. “It’s nice to be around people even if you don’t talk to them. It’s one of the things that I’ve missed right now [during lockdown] it’s just being surrounded by the hustle and bustle of everyone’s life. “
Speaking on this period of hiatus due to COVID-19, which led Ring to cancel his National Switch Off tour, Milan explains: âI was not so inspired to go to the studio and work. going on, I’m not particularly pushing myself – it’s a bit of a respite. “
Instead, she spends quality time with her dog, cooks, and collaborates with a friend on a children’s playbook. And she made her way through a songbook of Stevie Wonder on guitar. “I’m trying to go back to my jazz theory, which I put aside because I’m working to be the best producer and mixer I can be. It’s been quite therapeutic for me.”
But there’s no doubt that once the lockdown is over, she’ll be back to make the most of Sydney’s nightlife. âGoing out with friends, going to restaurants, then going to bars and then going to a show is to be part of the culture and the community and to feel connected to all these people. Even if you don’t know who they are, you are all there for the same reason. “
Find out more about Milan Ring’s collaboration with Miller Genuine Draft here.
For more ways to celebrate your city’s nightlife and recreate its energy in your own space, go here.
Images: Ruben Gibbes
Posted on May 11, 2020 by